Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) recently questioned Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) about the Kennedy health reform bill—and whether a new provision would include abortion providers—in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Sen. Mikulski confirmed that the bill “would include Planned Parenthood clinics” and “any service deemed medically necessary or medically appropriate.”

We all know what Sen. Mikulski is talking about: Taxpayer-funded abortions. This provision to include abortion providers in the health care bill passed 12-11 in committee, meaning we are now one step closer to our tax dollars being used to fund Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. And now the pro-abortion movement is gaining ground on the House end, too.

H.R. 3200, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, is currently on its third day getting a markup (i.e. getting debated, amended, and rewritten) in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Late last week, in the House Ways and Means Committee, Reps. Sam Johnson (R-TX) and Eric Cantor (R-VA) offered life-related amendments to the Democrats’ health care bill. Rep. Johnson’s would have explicitly excluded abortion from the minimum benefits and mandates provided for in the bill. It failed by a vote of 18-23. Rep. Cantor’s would have prevented taxpayers from being forced to subsidize abortions. It failed by a vote of 19-22.

Now is the time to take action. Rep. Mike Ross, who represents Arkansas’ 4th congressional district, is on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The committee convenes at 4 p.m. today for its third full day of markups for H.R. 3200. Seeing as Rep. Ross has a vote and voice, it is crucial that he knows about your opposition to this bill before it passes committee and heads for a full vote in the House. Call Rep. Ross’ office in Washington D.C. at 202-225-3772 or e-mail him at and tell him to oppose H.R. 3200 (the Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009) for the following reasons:

1) It would include abortion providers like Planned Parenthood in the government health plan, forcing taxpayers to pay for abortions.
2) It would impose $1.5 trillion dollars in new taxes on the American people.
3) It would put the government in control of health care—marginalizing consumer choice and eventually putting private insurers out of business as employers opt for the cheaper (but inferior) government plan.

Let’s make sure Rep. Ross knows that Arkansans do not support a government takeover of health care.


Jerry Cox